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How To Remove a Tick

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Updated January 23, 2014

Removing a tick

Grasp the tick with tweezers and gently lift straight up.

© Centers for Disease Control

Ticks don't just bite, they burrow in head-first. Ticks can cause Lyme disease and need to be removed as soon as they are discovered. If you do not see a tick, treat the bite like any other bug bite.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Less than a minute to remove it, several days to watch

Here's How:

  1. Stay Safe! Follow universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment if you have it.
  2. Grasp the tick with the tweezers very close to the skin.
  3. Pull with gentle, constant pressure. Pulling too hard will tear the tick and leave some behind.
  4. Examine the tick to make sure all of it has been removed. Look for the tick's mouth parts to be intact.
  5. If any of the tick is missing, seek medical attention immediately.
  6. Save the tick in an airtight container (do not touch it).
  7. Watch the victim for several days. If signs of Lyme disease are seen, seek medical help immediately.

Tips:

  1. DO NOT twist or pull the tick
  2. DO NOT try to burn the tick
  3. DO NOT touch the tick with bare skin
  4. Check frequently for ticks in areas of the body that get moist.
    • under arms
    • groin
    • buttocks
    • waist
    • belly button
    • neck
    • backs of knees

What You Need:

  • Small-tipped tweezers
  • Gloves or tissue
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